Saturday, 25 April 2015

Rant No. 5 PC 'Master Race'

With the recent release of GTA V for PC, the internet has exploded once again, with cries of gamers shouting one term. 'PC MASTER RACE!!!!'. I've personally never understood the term and being a gamer who can enjoy games on a computer AND a console, never really appreciated it. For anyone who doesn't know, the term and the phrases associated with it (dirty console peasants etc.) are meant to tell people that PC, as a gaming platform, is better than consoles. But rather than debating it civilly using actual facts, some people on the internet think that just screaming that they are right means that they actually are. Disclaimer: I'm not here to say that consoles are better than PC or vice versa. The idea of this post is to highlight the stupidity of the phrase PC Master Race. Now let's actually look at some facts:
First, the idea that PC gamers have better games because they look better. Now, while they have the potential to look better than console games, to get the games into the high and ultra graphics you either have to spend a grand or two to buy a good enough PC with the correct GPU, CPU, RAM, memory etc. or wait years until the PC needed for these games aren't the best model and so go down in price. Also, while PC games can get into the ranges of 4K graphics (double HD) or more, these can usually only be used for screenshots and you have to fork out more cash to buy a monitor to support this resolution. Graphics are also not the only trait that games are ranked on. Personally, I'd rather have a game with all right graphics but with a good story or original and intuitive gameplay. After all, games are meant to be played to be enjoyed right?

Secondly, the idea that there isn't any PC 2. The idea of this is that while console gamers have to replace their consoles every couple of years when it gets updated, PC gamers don't have to and so PC gaming is more economical. However, if you want your PC to be good enough to run a game at good graphics in say, one year,  then you have upgrade either your graphics card, RAM, CPU or all of it, to be able to run it. A good PC will set you back around double the price of a console and then you would have to upgrade it in a couple of months anyway.

I've had personal experience with this. I brought myself a laptop (so not a custom-built PC but still not bad) with 8GB RAM, an AMD Quad-Core processor etc. so that I could play some games from a couple of years ago which I missed out on. Games like Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Tomb Raider (2013) ran great on medium-high graphics. I then pre-ordered Watch-Dogs and to my surprise the game wouldn't run (read more about it in my Watch-Dogs first impressions). It turned out my graphics card and CPU weren't up to the task of running the game. A patch from AMD came through and I managed to run the game on lowest graphics with a considerable amount of lag (making it almost unplayable). I had only brought the laptop half a year ago and it could run all the games I threw at it until then. So in just half a year I would have to upgrade my laptop or not play any of the new releases. And this was the third laptop I had bought and each time, one of the sections of my laptop wasn't good enough, be it memory, RAM or graphics.

So already, PC isn't seeming so superior is it? Next up, gaming library. Now while PC is good for backwards compatibility and might have a couple of exclusives, consoles have exclusives which PC are begging for. Games like The Last Of Us and Red Dead Redemption are games that PC gamers would die for. And even games that are released on PC are either ports from consoles or have been delayed for up to two years (GTA V). For PC gamers to then say that they have the definitive version is just sad to see.

Finally, community. Gaming is meant to be enjoyed by everyone, from single players enjoying a game for it's story or multiple players playing games for the enjoyment of beating their friends. Now while, PC has numerous multiplayer game exclusive games (most of Valve etc.) these games are all played over the internet with each player being in different rooms, towns or countries. In my opinion, this isn't nearly as fun as local play where you can see the expression on your friends faces when you destroy them! Also, just to put it out there, the communities surrounding games like DOTA 2 or Counter-Strike (both PC exclusive) are frankly appalling but that's a rant for another day.

Conclusion: overall I believe that the idea of PC Master Race is a completely unsupported term and in some cases insulting. Can't we just all get along!

Thanks for reading, Satamer.



    1. Right. First myth: PC's cost a lot more than consoles. While you can get them for around the same price, the idea of PC gaming being cheaper in the long term is irrelevant if you buy it for that price. Because, if you buy it for that price, chances are you are buying a mid-range machine and so will have to upgrade parts or all of it by the time that a console gets renewed. However, I will admit that Steam sales are great (although you can pick up cheap games for consoles on sites like Amazon or in store at places like CEX).

      Myth 2: PC gamers hate console gamers: while I admit that this relationship is sometimes mutually shared, and that the problem should be between the platforms and not the gamers themselves, the Internet has evidence to support the claims that this myth shows. For example, any YouTube video, Steam/PSN/Xbox page or forum page will contain a number of these hateful posts (on both sides).

      Myth 3: PC gamers steal: my post has nothing to do with this, although I do believe that emulators and torrent sites are definitely easier to use on PC and that I have met people who use them. Of course, I don't condone these actions at all and have never used them myself.

      Myth 4: PC has no games. I think the problem with this one and the myth above is some translation issues. I believe that some console gamers think that PC gamers are stealing their games by getting (supposedly better) ports. This also means that some PC games (besides Valve, point and click games etc.) are not for PC but rather have just been pushed over there. In addition the Twitch list shows 4/5 of the games are actually AAA titles and free to play/ Valve's own. This shows that PC are not all indie games, unlike what the YouTuber states.

      Myth 5: PC Master Race: this isn't a joke. You only have to look at the majority of voices on the Internet to see that. People get and give abuse on both sides because of this 'joke' and some people can get quite angry/depressed by it, much like many of the 'harmless' 'jokes' on the Internet. Stop the joke, stop the abuse, stop the comparisons to certain other nations and learn to GET ALONG.